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DeLuxe Cake & Pastry Shop, ca. 1945 / Courtesy of IUPUI Library, Neighborhood of Saturdays Collection

Travelers along Maple Road (now 38th Street) in the 1930s and 1940s recognized the DeLuxe Cake & Pastry Shop by its large and unique rolling pin sign with neon letters.

As profiled last week, Kraft’s South Side Baking Company acquired the DeLuxe Bakery & Pastry Shop at 657 E. 38th Street in the late 1930s. As seen in this circa 1945 photograph by Frank M. Kirkpatrick, the 1920s brick storefront was modified with an Art Moderne facelift featuring streamlined black glass panels and curved display windows.

DeLuxe Cake & Pastry Shop interior, ca. 1945 / Courtesy of IUPUI University Library, Neighborhood of Saturdays Collection

DeLuxe Cake & Pastry Shop interior, ca. 1945 / Courtesy of IUPUI University Library, Neighborhood of Saturdays Collection (photograph by the William H. Bass Photo Company)

Ladies in white uniforms served Kraft breads, pies, wedding cakes, Danish pastries, and other goodies at the retail shop. The business expanded in about 1948 to supply doughnuts and other baked goods to fifteen Haag and Hooks drug stores for their breakfast and luncheon counters. In 1950 owner Philip Kraft opened independent DeLuxe Cake & Pastry Shops in local grocery stores and eventually operated 35 shops and employed 150 workers (including bakers and deliverymen at the 915 S. Meridian headquarters). John S. Clark bought the pastry business in the late 1950s and changed the name to one that is perhaps more familiar to Indianapolis residents — Roselyn Bakery (a popular bakery chain that closed in 1999).

657 E. 38th Street in September 2011 / Google Street View

657 E. 38th Street in September 2011 / Google Street View

Aerial photographs indicate that the DeLuxe Cake & Pastry Shop building on 38th Street was razed sometime between 1962 and 1972 and since then the land has served as a parking lot.

 

Detail of interior view, IUPUI University Library, Neighborhood of Saturdays Collection

Detail of interior view, IUPUI University Library, Neighborhood of Saturdays Collection, photograph by Willam H. Bass Photo Company

As a side note, its interesting to zoom in on the sharply focused 8″ x 10″ photograph and notice details, such as the reflection of the Bass Photo Company photographer and his camera in the bakery’s back door. If you have any information about local photographers (including biographical data, studio names and addresses, dates worked, whereabouts of their collections and records, etc.), please share with the Indiana Photographers Project, a database of Indiana photographers who worked from 1842 through 1960.

9 responses to “Indianapolis Then and Now: DeLuxe Cake & Pastry Shop, 657 E. 38th Street”

  1. d mikels shea says:

    My memory clicked in on at least 2 “sweet retreats” I frequented and loved in the strip of upscale shops on southeast corner 38th and Meridian….One was a candy shop like Martha Washington perhaps (not Fanny May I think but a chain no longer with us–sadly! I can recall going to at least 2 shops (am confirmed longtime chocaholic and the memory lingers on.) And it seems there were some other upscale shops but memory dim in mid to late 40’s and 50’s—any photos or store names. (Once there was also wonderful “reverse” telephone/;address directory–do these still exist in any archives? Or the old City Directories–both were our invaluable tools when working as City Desk reporter…now as sadly gone as those chocolates!

  2. Cheryl Boone-Delgado says:

    Roselyn”s! Oh, yes, that was the bakery of my childhood in the fifties and sixties. I’m sorry to see the prety store building is gone.
    Thanks for this. The photos are great.

  3. David says:

    I can’t help but be reminded of the Crawford Bakery Building when I see this building. I know you have featured it twice before.

  4. Joan Hostetler says:

    Thanks for all of your comments! David: Yes, city directories and criss-cross directories can be found in most local libraries. You can even find on-line versions of early ones (1923 and earlier, which are in the public domain) at archive.org. I use them for nearly every Indianapolis Then & Now article and have quite a large collection of 1920s-80s city directories if anyone ever wants to use them.

  5. basil berchekas jr says:

    Urban decline is alive and well in Indianapolis…including the quality (lack thereof) of businesses that get housed in buildings lucky to still exist, even in depressed or “modified” (away from their historic heritage)…

  6. Anonymous says:

    3.5

  7. Anonymous says:

    4.5

  8. joyce sample says:

    I would like to know more about the grocery store on 38th and Central in the 1950″s

  9. RICHARD A. BAUCHLE says:

    My grandfather was overseeing the baking part of the business, for phil.
    My dad worked there, too……….at least befor the war.

    Not certain if dick shuh, or carl long worked there.
    My father knew and worked with these people.

    My father started University Pastry Shop, late in 1956….on the south side….near the University of Indianapolis

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